DePaul president: Student vaccinations won’t be mandated, faculty vaccinations ‘not such a big issue’


Bianca Cseke | The DePaulia

DePaul University Lincoln Park campus.

During a faculty council Q&A session, President A. Gabriel Esteban spoke to faculty regarding a Covid-19 vaccination process and expressed that it is not a priority for staff — nor will the university require vaccination. 

Thomas Mondeschean, a Faculty Council member from The Driehaus College of Business asked Esteban about the vaccination process of faculty, to which he responded it is “not such a big issue.”

The university’s president said he was mainly concerned about the vaccination process for students. 

“Right now, there is no plan on forcing people to have vaccinations,” Esteban said. 

The DePaulia has requested further comment on this matter. The topics that were supposed to be discussed in the Jan. 6 meeting will be pushed to the meeting in February. 

President A. Gabriel Esteban. (Courtesy of DePaul University)

The Faculty Council Q&A was originally set to take place at the Jan. 6 meeting, however the council adjourned the session early due to the attack on Capitol Hill. The council had half an hour with Esteban to ask questions, addressing the issue of the search process when Ghanem’s term expires. 

The Faculty Council voted to staff the Provost’s Review Committee,” President Scott Paeth said in an email to The DePaulia. “There is also a statement that will be coming out in the next couple of days that is related to it.” 

This is the first vote the council took regarding staffing the Provost Review Committee. The vote follows negotiations the Faculty Council had with the administration about the form of review to be taken. An initial announcement about the provost search was made in DePaul Newsline on Nov.13 .  

As Interim Provost Ghanem’s term expires in 2022, there is speculation on how to go about this process. 

President Esteban is set to conduct  “an exhaustive formal review of the performance of the interim provost to determine if a national search is necessary.” This includes a committee of faculty, staff and a student selected by SGA. However, the Faculty Council originally rejected this process as it violated the Faculty Handbook Guidelines. 

 “The concerns have to do with process, best practices, and the faculty responsibility for shared governance in university’s academic work. Interim Provost Ghanem continues to have the support of many faculty members,” Paeth told The DePaulia in December. 

Esteban also showed support for keeping Ghanem in the DePaul community as he explained how students and faculty are different per each institution. 

“The dynamics is (sic) very different,” Esteban said. 

He said DePaul operates similarly to both public and private institutions, which impacts how the provost interacts with the campus community. He added he would rather have Ghanem as she has held the Interim position for two years as opposed to someone new coming from the outside.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

Correction (1/15/2021): A previous version of this story incorrectly described Faculty Council as having refused to staff the Provost Review Committee. The story has since been updated to reflect the correct information.